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Less Social Houses Built in 2020 than there is Homeless people in Ireland

NB Please see PQ below.

On foot of a PQ response from the Housing Minister in relation to the level of housing built in 2020, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called it incredible that there were less Social Houses built in 2020 than there is Homeless people in the state. This is a damning indictment of FF/FG’s record on housing.

An Teachta Tóibín:

“In the last 10 days the political establishment has woken up and in chorus together have announced that Housing is the No. 1 issue affecting this country. Yet for he first 4 months of this year there was hardly a house built in the country and last year only 5,073 new social houses were built. Even when you include 1,314 targeted acquisitions by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies and 1,440 homes delivered through leasing programmes the total still falls short of the number of people who are Homeless in Ireland”.

“The Government in their defence will state that there was a pandemic during this period. However Ireland was the only country to shut down its construction industry in the manner that we did. Construction of homes remained open for most of the last year throughout most of Europe. Remember Housing is a life and death issue. 79 people died in Homelessness last year in Dublin alone. 38 people have already died in homelessness so far this year in Dublin. None of the political parties who state that Housing is the number 1 issue now, said boo to the government for leaving construction shut 2 months ago”.

“10,000 homes were not built so far in 2021 thanks to government restrictions, whilst only 20,000 new dwellings added to the market in 2020. In terms of rent, the average rent in Dublin of €1745 per month is simply out of reach for minimum wage workers. In my own county of Meath, the average rent of €1,202 per month would make up 93% of post-taxation income for a minimum wage worker in Meath. Meanwhile families lose out to vulture funds and REITs as they try to get on the property ladder, thanks to the leg up given to vulture funds by Fine Gael. Today, Home ownership is an aspiration to be realised only by a select few. Up to 1 million people are in housing crisis either through mortgage distress, homelessness, spending years on housing waiting lists or grossly unaffordable and unfair rents and mortgages.

“As we now know the current Minister found this opportunity attractive himself, investing over €30k of his money into a global REIT. All the while Homeless deaths spiked in 2020, with thousands still on our streets without a roof over our head. This is the housing record of FF and FG in government.”


For Oral Answer on : 05/05/2021

Question Number: 60 Question Reference: 22906/21

Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Asked by: Peadar Tóibín T.D.



To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the number of houses that have been built here to date in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


In relation to new dwellings built to date in 2021, the Central Statistics Office are responsible for the quarterly publication of New Dwelling Completions. Data for the first quarter of 2021 is not due for publication until Thursday May 6.

20,676 new dwellings were delivered in 2020, and recent estimates predict that a similar number will be delivered in 2021, having regard to lockdown restrictions.

Last year, a total of 7,827 new social homes were delivered, representing over 70% of the annual target for 2020, a significant achievement given lockdown pressures. There were 8,555 social homes onsite nationwide at the end of 2020 and a further 9,085 homes at various stages of the design and tender process.

My Department publishes comprehensive programme level statistics on a quarterly basis on all social housing delivery activity. This data is available to the end of 2020 and is published on the statistics page of my Department’s website. Work is currently underway on the collection and collation of the Quarter 1 2021 data and will be published in due course.

I am keenly aware of the need for all forms of supply to be progressed, both social and private. The previous pandemic restrictions on construction in 2020 meant that the progress in activating supply was impacted, though not as largely as initially feared. Action will continue across all measures during 2021 to ensure delivery of the maximum number of new homes.


By Aontú Press | 14 May, 2021

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